Check out Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4! As we entered Rotorua, we stopped at Hell’s Gate. This is a sort of spa, and viewing area for mud pools and hot pools. We didn’t get a spa treatment, but we did take a mud foot bath and wander around the park, looking at all the pools. I’ve never really seen anything like this! There was one pool that you could stick your hands in, and I just couldn’t believe how warm the water was. It’s said that these mineral waters are a great help in relieving arthritic pain. It was about $40 per person to enter the area and walk around along with the mud foot bath. IMG_3249 IMG_3254 IMG_3256 IMG_3261 IMG_3262 IMG_3264 IMG_3297 IMG_3304 Also in Rotorua, we went to Rainbow Springs, which is kind of a wildlife park. We saw huge rainbow and brown trout in a freshwater spring, as well as redwoods, and various birds and lizards. Rhys was even so interested in the fish that he broke my iphone in their pond 🙂 There is also a log flume called the Big Splash, which although not super exhilarating after all of our theme park experiences, was still fun. It was about $38 to enter the park and admittance lasts all day with coming and going priviledges. IMG_3309 We also went to Paradise Valley which is along similar lines, but has the added perk in that you can PET A BABY LION CUB. Did I mention that lions are my favourite animal?? This little guy was so sweet and sleepy. His hair was so coarse, and his paws were so big, and, and, can I keep him!? I love animals and I’m the happiest person in the world when I’m around them… It was about $30 to enter Paradise Valley. IMG_3325 IMG_3360 IMG_3371 IMG_3383 IMG_3392 Also in Rotorua, we went up a gondola to go down a luge track. It was SO fun. We had three runs, and we started off with the ‘scenic’ route which was nice but then for our remaining two runs we took the advanced route, and we just flew down the hill! Rhys and I both got air off of a jump and I thought I was going to fall out of my luge at one point. I recommend doing this activity  if you are in Rotorua. It costs about $42 per person for the gondola ride up, and three luge runs. Koko Brill | Koko's Kitchen IMG_0509 Can we also talk about this Jelly Belly Harry Potter…. Jelly Belly Harry Potter We  also had to do the famous kiwi-invented activity of zorbing. Basically, that means you roll down a hill while inside a giant bubble. We went to OGO which is apparently owned and operated by the two inventors of zorbing and it was $50 per person per run. I think this price is outrageous, as the run lasts about one minute, but we did it anyway. I did have an absolute blast doing this, though. Rhys and I went in one zorb together, and it was filled with water. We took the go pro and got it all on camera as we made our way down the zig-zag course. I was laughing hysterically the whole time. We were getting absolutely tossed around inside the zorb and at one point I was so dizzy I was glad I didn’t get sick. But honestly, it was one of my favourite activites that we did and if it wasn’t so expensive, I would do it again and again and again.   Our last stop in Rotorua was the Te Puia . One of the largest geysers in New Zealand is located here and it’s quite impressive to see. It was boiling hot out but we took our time walking through the park and viewing the geyser in addition to other small mud pools and hot pools. We also took in a Maori welcoming ceremony which I think is a must-see when you come to New Zealand. Rhys got pulled up on stage to do the haka which I thoroughly enjoyed! It cost about $65 for me, and $30 for Rhys (as he is a NZ native…wtf) to visit the park and watch the ceremony. IMG_0590 IMG_0608 IMG_3409 IMG_3411 From Rotorua, we made a quick stop at Lake Taupo to go on the Huka Falls Jet Boat. You might remember that Rhys and I had stopped at the Falls earlier in our trip. This time, we took a jet boat along the river and up to the Falls. The ride was exhilarating!! The drive was pulling crazy 360s and it was so much fun! We pulled right up to the bottom of the falls, too, which was very cool. The ride lasted about half an hour, and cost $109 per person. Which again, is absolutely ridiculous, but it is a ton of fun. We managed to do all of those activities in Rotorua, as well as the Jet boat in just 2.5 days. This was a big rush and we were quite exhausted, but it was well worth it. I hope we return to Rotorua later this year to experience some of the mud and hot pool spas, and hang out by the lakes.

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